OK, Passaic County got its first Aldi at the end of January, and now, finally, Bergen County gets its first Aldi in East Rutherford. I've been going to the Clifton Aldi nearly weekly since they opened. I love them. Good quality food at dirt cheap prices. I was excited to check out this new East Rutherford Aldi store. The store is at 59 Route 17 South, in the Liberty Commons strip mall.
What is Aldi's? Well, I'll put it this way: it's pretty much a no-frills Trader Joe's targeted to lower-middle-class people instead of upper-middle-class people. They sell only the basics, and the stores are small, like Trader Joe's. There is a lot of similarity in products (potato chips, nuts, dried fruits, dairy items, frozen foods) between the two chains. The difference is the packaging is more no frills at Aldi's, and, in almost all cases, the products at Aldi's are way cheaper.
So, how does the East Rutherford store compare to the Clifton store? Well, it's bigger. Quite a bit bigger (maybe 25%-30% bigger). This probably means they'll have more items available on a regular basis. But...
The layout in Clifton is MUCH nicer. The Clifton store is basically four straight lines of items, with the freezers/refrigerators along the back and side of the store. The East Rutherford store flows in the opposite direction of the Clifton store. It was like Bizarro Clifton. There is also a cross "aisle" dividing the merchandise, making things a bit more chaotic with people going in different directions. The store was busy, but not quite crazy.
The other problem with the East Rutherford Aldi is the location. It's in a fairly recently built, fairly large strip mall with a whole lot of stores on a very busy highway. The parking lot is crazy. The Clifton Aldi is located in a much older, smaller strip mall, in a bit of an industrial area, and there isn't a whole lot else in that area. It gets busy there, sure, but I don't think it will ever be the circus that this East Rutherford store is sure to be.
They had some nice grand opening specials: white bread and hot dog rolls for $.25, fresh pineapples for $.49, and South African (???) navel oranges for $.99 per bag.
Will I be back to the East Rutherford Aldi? Absolutely. But based on my initial impressions, I'll be sticking with the Clifton store as my regular store. You won't go wrong with either one, though.
725 River Road, Edgewater, NJ